What you know about fast food is probably bad enough. What you don’t know may be even worse.

The realities of processed foods are becoming more mainstream. Let us look behind the curtain…be forewarned that some of this stuff is truly nasty.

1. Chicken McNuggets.

In actuality, there is a very little chicken in the nuggets.

[1] Samples from two fast food chains contained mostly fat, connective tissue, and bones.

In addition, since the nuggets are stored frozen until ready for use, lots of chemicals are poured into them to keep them “fresh”, like TBHQ (t-butyl hydroquinone)—its constituents are acetone, alcohol, and ethyl acetate.

One study on the safety of this compound showed vision impairment in humans; liver enlargement and acute neurotoxic effects including convulsions and paralysis in animals.[2]

2. Coca-Cola.

One can of regular (red) Coke contains ten teaspoons of sugar—more than the amount of sugar recommended by the World Health Organization for an entire day. Some people vomit at this level of sugar.

3. Hair.

fast-food-hair

A few years ago, one Kentucky Fried Chicken employee admitted to putting pubic hair in the order of a customer whom she found to be offensive. While we don’t expect that to be a common menu item, consumers of processed food can expect to ingest plenty of hair in the form of L-cysteine—an amino acid used as a dough conditioner. The type added to commercial food is sourced from human and animal hair and feathers.

4. McDonald’s Milkshakes.

fast-food-milkshake

The milkshakes at McDonald’s are a handful of ingredients, most of which sound fairly benign (if you exclude the coloring and preservatives). Among those is “artificial flavor.” What this serves to do is provide a generic bucket into which can be dumped anything and any number of things, like butyric acid (found in rancid butter and vomit), ethyl valerate (green apple flavor derived via a chemical process), and isobutyl anthranilate (when heated, it emits toxic fumes and is “probably” combustible)[3]—all much more difficult to pronounce than “strawberry”.

5. Fast food hamburgers and hot dogs contain “pink slime”—ammonium hydroxide.

Described



“…more delicately known as ‘lean finely textured beef trimmings’, this product is made from connective tissue (versus meat muscle) and fat, and is treated with ammonium hydroxide…Currently the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers this process safe enough to allow the resulting product to be added to ground beef. However, current regulations don’t require that companies disclose use of this ingredient on meat labels.”[4]

It’s animal parts mixed with water and ammonia…don’t bottles of ammonia have that little skull and crossbones symbol on them? While McDonald’s promised to remove ammonium hydroxide from their hamburgers after an expose a few years ago, it’s unknown whether they actually have done so.

6. Fast Food Salads.

fast-food-salad

Lettuce is often treated with propylene glycol—a chemical also used in antifreeze—to help keep it fresh. Some have even more fat and sodium than a Big Mac.

7. FDA-approved Contaminants.

fast-food-fda

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes allowances for contaminants in a wide variety of foods, including an average of 30 insect pieces and one or more rodent hairs in 100g of peanut butter. Also approved is the use of bacteriophage s to act as microbial agents on processed foods; yes, they add live viruses to your food to keep bacteria from developing and making it spoil.

8. Processed Cheese.

fast-food-cheese

More aptly called “cheese-colored chemicals”, only slightly over half of what you buy that’s called “processed cheese” is actual cheese made from milk.[5] There are distinctions among labeling a product “pasteurized process cheese food” (51 percent), “pasteurized process cheese product” (less than 51 percent), and “imitation cheese” (no cheese content) all having to do with the amount of real cheese ingredients.

References:

[1] http://www.amjmed.com
[2] http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov
[3] http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov
[4] http://www.mayoclinic.org
[5] https://www.msu.edu

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